The California coast is nothing if not moody in late fall and early winter. Calm, crystal-clear days are interspersed with blustery gray ones, so it’s best to prepare for all possibilities. DogTrekkers who prefer cabin or cottage accommodations to standard hotels and motels will find a staggering selection of dog-friendly options along the coast.
In Mendocino County, Andiron Seaside Inn & Cabins in Little River is a collection of 11 one- and two-room units decorated in 1950s themes and endowed with ocean views and a soundtrack to match. Howard Creek Ranch Inn is a registered historical site with a farmhouse built in 1871, a string of ocean-view cottages decorated with antiques, 60 acres of grounds to romp on and a dog-friendly beach to top it off. Want to surprise your sweetheart with an out-of-the-ordinary overnight stay? Dog-friendly West Cottage on the grounds of Point Cabrillo Light Station, a picturesque lighthouse and associated buildings dating from 1909, is available as a romantic vacation rental.
The Monterey Peninsula is another great dog-friendly getaway destination. Our favorite coastal-cabin hideouts start with a string of 1940s and ’50s-era cottage motels—Sea Breeze Inn & Cottages, Andril Fireplace Cottages and Bide-A-Wee Inn & Cottages—in the seaside town of Pacific Grove. All are fixed up for the 21st century and situated within walking distance of dog-friendly Asilomar Beach and a gorgeous trail hugging the dramatic and much-photographed coastline. Just down the road in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Carmel Forest Lodge, Carmel Resort Inn Cottages and Carmel River Inn are just three of many cottage-style inns that welcome dogs accompanied by their well-behaved people.
In San Luis Obispo County at the southern end of Big Sur, pet-friendly vacation rentals are the way for cottage-seekers to go. Check with the property management companies listed in our SLO pages, or surf the offerings at TripAdvisor, VRBO.com or HomeAway.com to find the property that suits your budget, location and style.